Product management isn’t always a walk in the park, is it?
Even with the tightest prioritization and organizational skills, it can still feel like you’re tasked with a million jobs at once.
And to avoid dropping the ball, you may need a little extra training.
Learning the latest techniques, strategies, tools, and management processes can help you feel much more in control of your on-going projects, both in the short and long term.
And where better to learn these skills than in a specially-designed product management certified course?
True: you don’t need a qualification or certification to be a successful product manager.
But having one to your name can help you advance your career, stand out from the crowd and give you greater confidence and credibility.
So, to help you get started on your journey, we’ve scoured the vast range of options and narrowed the list down to the 14 best product management courses in 2020.
Scroll down to find all the details you need, from pricing and location to duration.
Boston University’s Product Management MicroMasters program aims to give you hands-on experience in:
Building product roadmaps
Agile product management practices for software/digital products
Guiding the development of products from the original idea through essential processes (research, rapid prototyping, etc.)
Approaches to marketing on social media
Ways to convey the value of a product to other managers, sales people, and target customers
Life-cycle management processes, such as versioning
Recognizing the diverse practices used by product managers throughout different markets and companies
The Digital Product Management Certification by Boston University consists of five courses, each lasting between six and eight weeks. It costs $1995, and offers content including Business Analytics, and Driving Digital Innovation.
This certification is a MicroMasters, which is recognized by employers as a valid credential and can accelerate a Master’s degree (should you choose to undertake one). Lastly, the program is part of the BUx initiative, which means it can be taken online from wherever you are!
This Northwestern Kellogg School of Management program is designed to give you the skills to.
Identify and analyze new opportunities for products effectively
Build a product strategy with the 7-Elements Framework
Determine the advantages and drawbacks of multiple business models, and how to switch to another one as needed
Create detailed buyer personas to develop a deeper understanding of target audiences
Delve into real-world case studies incorporating the faculty’s own time with major names like Facebook and Microsoft
This consists of eight modules, including Understanding Product Strategy, Analyzing Product Opportunities, Designing the Business Model, Agile Product Development, Taking Products to Market, and others.
The Product Strategy program includes Applied Learning Opportunities, in which you’ll have the chance to work on various exercises. These lead to hands-on experience and a working understanding of key processes.
A passing grade of 80 percent will earn you a certificate from Kellogg Executive Education. The school works with Emeritus, an online-education provider, allowing you to take this remotely.
The full program lasts two months (four to six hours per week) and costs $2,600 — so it comes in slightly more expensive than other options in this run-down.
The University of Virginia works with Coursera to offer this online program. It will:
Show you how to manage your product successfully, with a tight focus and strategy
Help you manage new products and explore concepts for future releases
Demonstrate how to take advantage of modern product management techniques
Manage existing products for maximum value
The University of Virginia claims that more than 30 percent of people completing the program went on to start new careers, or received a tangible benefit in their work.
But will it work for you?
Completing this program will equip you with an insight into the latest product management methods and working models. You’ll also learn how to focus on keeping products as competitive as they can be in thriving markets, identifying their USPs for maximum impact.
This program is available online, includes flexible deadlines, and takes around 19 hours to complete over a suggested period of four weeks. The most surprising thing, though, has to be the price: it costs just $79, and financial aid is available.
IE University’s Business School provides this online Brand and Product Management program through Coursera. It consists of six modules, beginning with a concrete exploration of managing products throughout their life-cycle, and ending with driving employees to deliver their best for the good of the brand.
You will learn:
How to understand product strategy concepts
How to define product strategies effectively
How to recognize the key elements of a brand strategy and formulate your own
Communicating brand and product value to different audiences
Building a brand portfolio to increase value
This program takes around 13 hours to complete, and benefits from flexible deadlines to align with your own schedule. No pricing information is available, but you can enroll for free and financial aid is available.
Nearly half of participants have started new careers after finishing the course, while more than 20 percent secured promotions or pay rises. Nice!
The AIPMM (Association of International Product Marketing & Management) is the world’s biggest community of professionals working in product management, brand management, and other related sectors. And the AIPMM Certified Product Manager (CPM) credentials are recognized as reliable indicators of skill and achievement.
There are multiple credentials to choose from:
Certified Product Manager: championing products during their life cycle and related responsibilities
Certified Product Marketing Manager: committed to outbound activities
Agile Certified Product Manager and Product Owner: develop a deep understanding of Agile techniques and their role in successful product lifecycles
These credentials can be undertaken online through various providers around the world, and there are no prerequisites for anyone who wants to take part.
Prices vary, but as an example, 280 Group charges $1,495 for the Certified Product Manager online course and exam. This includes 18 modules, and typically takes 15-20 hours to complete.
The University of Alberta’s Software Product Management certification course is available via Coursera, to be completed online. This program is structured to help you master different Agile software practices, with an emphasis on using management techniques in realistic role-play situations that software product managers are likely to face.
The Software Product Management certification specialization includes the following courses.
Introduction to Software Product Management
Software Processes and Agile Practices
Client Needs and Software Requirements
Agile Planning for Software Products
Reviews & Metrics for Software Improvements
Software Product Management Capstone
After finishing this product management course, you’ll be equipped to use Agile software development techniques, converse with clients, manage a product development team, and more.
Any of the modules may be completed individually, rather than as part of the full specialization.
And upon successfully completing the full program, you’ll receive a certificate from the University of Alberta.
The Software Product Management certification program takes 24 weeks to complete, and while there’s no pricing information available, financial aid is an option.
Boston University’s Product Management Certification with Lean, Agile, and System Design Thinking course is part of the MicroMasters Program.
If you successfully pass and achieve your agile product management certification — as you surely will! — you’ll come away with the following skills:
Product line planning and roadmapping alternatives
Generating ideas, determining customer needs, overseeing minimal viable products (MVPs)
Launching products with go-to-market strategies that convey the product’s value
In-depth performance management, including tracking system-performance metrics, organizing social media, and taking ownership of profits or losses
Completing this product management course will earn you a signed certificate carrying the institution’s recognizable logo (for a fee), and it lasts six weeks in total (around four to eight hours per week).
It’s free to undertake and can be completed online. But, this does mean you need to be available as and when the course is running — if flexibility is key for you, it may be worth looking elsewhere.
The Product Management Program from Berkeley Executive Education is in two sections. The first covers a six-week online part, made up of video lectures, surveys, exercises, and group-based discussions. The second is a five-day “immersive” experience.
This program will help you:
Optimize products and their profitability, using pricing systems and tools
Decide which ideas are worth pursuing by analyzing ideas and opportunities
Communicate with senior managers/leaders and put ideas across successfully
Communicate your business model and plans for new opportunities to any audience as required
Gain insights into audiences and integrate research results into driving innovation
Main topics of focus include Innovation Capabilities, Peer Coach program, Evaluating Your Business Model, Data-Based Decision-Making, Pricing Strategies, Segmentation and Targeting, and more.
This five-day product management course takes place in Berkeley, California, though the online component can be completed remotely and counts toward a Certificate of Business Excellence.
But here’s the stinger: this one costs $7,950 overall.
This Udemy online course is focused on shaping you into a strategic product manager, able to work with development teams effectively and create groundbreaking products over time.
It’s aimed at product managers with varying degrees of experience, from zero to five years on the job. You’ll gain a solid foundation upon which to build or advance your career, depending on your current status.
The core elements of the course include:
The strategic role of product management
Balancing the strategic and the tactical
Prioritization and roadmapping
Discovery and delivery
Positioning and communicating product
This product management course comprises more than four hours of on-demand video, 53 downloadable resources, and more. You’ll receive a certificate of completion, and have full lifetime access to the materials. The course costs around $17 from Udemy direct.
The next Udemy course, Become a Product manager - Learn the Skills & Get the Job, is spread across videos, activities, and more.
If you choose this course, you’ll develop an understanding of product life cycles, identifying valuable ideas worth dedicating resources to, competitor comparisons, determining customer pain points, appreciating modern product development processes used by Fortune 500 companies, and much, much more.
This product management certification course is designed to equip you with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to find the right product management role for you. This is a great choice whether you’re starting out in your career or want to make a switch.
Areas covered include:
Introduction to Product Management
Ideas and User Needs
Competitive and Market Analysis
Designing and Running Experiments
Conceptualizing the Solution
Metrics for Product Managers - Defining Success and Measuring Results
Working with People and Stakeholders
Technology for Product Managers
How to Get the Job in Product Management
This includes 13 hours of on-demand video, dozens of articles and downloadable resources, and full lifetime access. It costs around $18 from Udemy direct, and successful completion earns a certificate to be proud of!
Another Udemy course, this time providing you with an opportunity to learn the main skills required for product management. This spans key elements from ideation and wireframing to leadership techniques.
During this course, you’ll learn:
How to become an Agile product owner, harnessing tools like Pivotal Tracker and Popplet
Ways to analyze the market, spot gaps in competitor portfolios, identify trends, and more
How to lead designers and developers effectively
Techniques for managing and communicating with stakeholders
Strategies for acing product management interviews, and how to stand apart from other job candidates
Insights from case studies, exploring major products such as NASA’s app and Getaround
This is aimed at professionals looking to shift gears into product management, entrepreneurs who want to build revolutionary products, and product managers who believe they need to expand their knowledge.
The Complete Product Management Course takes place online and is priced at around $17 from Udemy direct. It includes more than five hours of video and downloadable resources. Successfully completing the course will earn you a certificate, as you’d expect.
280Group’s Certified Product Manager course incorporates 18 learning modules, various interactive exercises, quizzes, and other helpful components. Put simply, the course educates you on the essential skills every effective product manager depends on, across two sections.
The first focuses on the material from 280Group’s Optimal Product Management and Product Marketing. The second is designed to help you pass the Certified Product Manager exam the first time.
This exam is administered by AIPMM, and (as mentioned earlier) the resulting credential is recognized and respected worldwide.
Topics covered include:
Becoming a Strategic Product Manager (strategic analysis, product adoption, etc.)
Market Research (definitions and methods, voice of the customer, data analysis)
The online course is available for $1,495 from 280Group direct, though you can add optional extras such as Virtual Instructor Review.
Yet another course from the prolific (and clearly busy!) Udemy team: Career Preparation for Success is a guide to help you secure and prepare for a first product manager role. After completing the course, beginners can expect to hit the ground running!
The three-hour course covers.
The day-to-day work of a product manager
Presenting yourself as the right candidate for a role
Learning the product management process for a seamless integration into the business
The most common interview questions for prospective product managers
In-depth job description from real product managers
The course videos introduce you to product managers’ working routines and standard processes, touching on effective communication, mastering tools required for the job, roadmapping, and more.
It costs around $17 from Udemy direct, to be completed online.
Lastly, Carnegie Mellon University is one of the most well-known educational institutions in the world, and its Master of Science in product Management is a one-year program structured to launch you into a successful career.
This product management certification program covers:
Essential technical skills for effective product management
Leadership development for overseeing and managing teams of different sizes
Cultivating the necessary business acumen for a career in product management
Digital service innovation
Human computer interaction for product management
An approved internship in product management
The program takes place at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), though the summer semester does involve some online video.
This course is for those who really want to invest in their product management career — it’s the most time-intensive and expensive of all the accreditations in this line-up.
The cost of the full program is around $27,000, but completing it will earn you a prestigious Master of Science degree from this renowned university.
So, that’s it — there’s the 14 best product management certification programs in 2020 that are really worth your time.
Each of these courses offer real benefits to your self-development, career prospects, and working knowledge of product management.
The sheer amount of online product management certification programs, too, means you can be as flexible as you need to, learning at your own pace however suits your schedule.
Product managers are growing increasingly important for companies across the globe, helping brands bring groundbreaking products to market. And earning a certification makes you a stronger candidate to play a pivotal part in that process.
So, consider your options carefully and pick a course that’s right for you.
And on that note — good luck, and don’t forget to check out more articles just like over at our blog by clicking here!